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Labor shortage makes winter tire changes dearer

Shifting to winter tires may become more expensive this year, according to a report in business daily Világgazdaság. Employers need to raise wages to retain skilled workers, with a knock-on effect leading to higher service fees.

This year the average price for changing tires on cars will be around HUF 10,000 in Budapest, and somewhat cheaper outside the capital, Vilmos Tokaji, sales director at tire maker Continental Hungaria, told business daily Világgazdaság. This is a 20% increase compared to last year, mainly due to the ongoing labor shortage. Employers are responding to the struggle to keep skilled mechanics by raising wages, which will impact service fees, Tokaji said.

Prices of tires have also increased during the last year, as raw materials become more expensive. Typically four tires amount to HUF 80,000-100,000 for a normal car.

Tokaji recommends changing tires by mid-October. However, Hungarian car owners usually delay the shift until the weather turns cold, which results in long waits in workshops, Tokaji added.